The Holocene Extinction
The fires seemed to follow us at every turn. The mob's numbers swelled as untold hundreds poured in shrieking waves from doorways while smoke billowed behind them and rubble rained down from the heavens. I could not see where I was or where I was being carried. My mind was occupied only with keeping myself from drowning in the sea of panicked men and women.
I recall briefly seeing the morning sun framed in the broad avenue ahead of me before it was suddenly snuffed out. In its place a leg rose before me, and quickly a second strode into view. Each stood as tall as a skyscraper, twin towers of muscle sheathed in volcanic rock. I raised my eyes, higher, higher. I could not hear the shouts of those around me. I could not even hear my own scream of terror. There was only the sound of my own heartbeat thudding in my ears.
Talos stood in our path, upright, his tail snaking behind him into the smoke-filled distance, his head lowered toward us. His blazing eyes glittered as they shifted slowly, playing over the thousands of shocked, upturned faces far below. They were not the cold and mindless eyes of a reptile that I would have expected, no, not at all. Those eyes were thoughtful and cunning and seared into me with a malevolence that was almost as physical a presence as the dragon himself. The monster's lips drew back from glittering white teeth. That sneer held a depth of scorn that was made sickeningly clear with the raising of a mammoth foot. It shifted slowly forward, just a little, just enough to cast those closest to him in its shadow.
And then he stepped on them. Just like that...
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